America’s character-lacking, disgraced, lying, adulterous 42nd President, who gutted the US military during the 1990s, seems to think he’s fit to lecture Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on defense and budgetary issues. But he is not, and this post is a rebuttal of his lies.
“You see, they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place,” Clinton said. “Cut taxes for high-income Americans even more than President [George W.] Bush did. To get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts. To increase defense spending 2 trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget.”
All of these claims are lies. Mitt Romney doesn’t want to cut taxes just for high-income Americans, but for everyone, as his website clearly states. He even opposes a flat tax because it would be “a tax cut for fat cats.”
As for defense spending, no, he and Ryan do not plan to increase it by $2 trillion over the next ten years above what the Obama-controlled DOD has requested. For that to happen, the Congress would have to increase the annual defense budget by $100 bn on average every year, which Ryan and Romney do NOT propose to do. In FY2013, the increase would be only $20 bn above the DOD’s request. To add another $1.980 trillion in the next decade, Ryan would have to give the DOD another $220 bn every year on top of what they request, which he does not propose to do. Not even close.
And no, Ryan does not propose to make “enormous cuts” in every other agency and program. In most of them, he doesn’t propose to cut spending at all, merely to slow down or halt its growth.
So Bill Clinton’s claims are blatant lies, just like his lie that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
“The GOP White House hopefuls offered few specifics last week about just how those new defense dollars would be spent. Romney, however, has made clear on the campaign trail he would buy more Navy ships.”
But under the Constitution, it is not the proper role of the President, the Vice President, or candidates for either to offer specifics about what defense dollars are to be spent on. That is the exclusive role of the Congress. Only the Congress has the right and the duty to decide how much to allocate to defense and what exactly to spend the money on. It is the Congress’s duty to determine how many ships, aircraft, ground vehicles, missiles, etc. are necessary. (In determining it, it may and does call upon uniformed and civilian DOD leaders and others to provide their advice, but it needs to make decisions on its own.) The President is to have no role in the budget process except to sign or veto bills. Apparently, no one on DN’s staff has read the Constitution.
After Paul Ryan’s budget plan was passed by the House, the House Armed Services Committee passed a defense budget (matching Ryan’s numbers) which showed EXACTLY what the additional money would be spent on, inter alia:
- Saving the 7 young cruisers and 2 amphibious ships Obama wants to retire from retirement and scrapping.
- Building up America’s missile defense.
- Building the facilities necessary to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal and infrastructure.
- Additional aircraft and missiles.
- Preserving the RQ-4 Global Hawk drones Obama wants to retire.
- Preserving the M1 tank production line and upgrading further M1 tanks to the M1A2SEP standard.
Moreover, Mitt Romney himself has also outlined plans for more than additional Navy ships: missile defense, 100,000 additional troops, aircraft recapitalization, etc. But he would spend only 4% of GDP on defense, slightly less than the DOD’s entire military budget at 4.22% of GDP, and slightly more than the base defense budget (3.47% of GDP). A full 4% of America’s current GDP ($15.29 trillion) is $611.6 bn.
And if Mitt Romney is elected and appoints his defense advisor John Lehman to be SECDEF/DEPSECDEF, the USN will not be building those sorry-ass LCSes which have no combat capability.
“The official Republican Party policy platform, formally adopted last week at its convention, features several defense-themed sections. But those sections mostly criticize the Obama administration for retiring aircraft and ships and shrinking the Army and Marine Corps, and charges the White House is blocking efforts to modernize the U.S. nuclear arms fleet.”
But if the GOP platform sharply criticizes the Obama Administration for these cuts and this neglect, isn’t it reasonable to assume that it will reverse them?
DefenseNews also reports that:
“In contrast, the Democrats’ platform signals that party would welcome more Pentagon spending cuts, singling out the expensive nuclear arms arsenal as a candidate for reductions.”
But the nuclear arsenal is NOT expensive at all.
Those are blatant lies. Firstly, the nuclear arsenal is NOT expensive to operate and maintain. According to Barack Obama’s own defense budget request, the entire annual cost of maintaining the current arsenal is roughly $7 bn, a tiny part of the annual defense budget, let alone the entire annual federal budget. No big savings can be found there.
The fleet of delivery systems is not expensive to operate and maintain, either. It is, in fact, cheap to do so, and the fleet comprises just a tiny part of the DOD’s operations&maintenance budget.
Replacing them will not be very expensive, either. One ICBM costs just $70 mn to procure. The DOD’s planned next-gen SSBNs will cost $5 bn apiece, but that cost could be dramatically reduced by building a Virginia-class variant or resuming the production of the Ohio class instead of building a whole new class of submarines. A single Virginia class sub costs only $2 bn apiece, so for a 12-sub buy, the cost would be just $24 bn.
As for bombers, the USAF itself estimates that its no-frills next-gen bomber will cost only $550 mn per unit. Moreover, this is a dual-capable bomber that the USAF needs to have anyway, for conventional missions if not for nuclear ones. So even if there were no nuclear bombs for it to carry, it would still be needed for conventional missions. Therefore, it’s something the USAF must buy anyway.
The nuclear arsenal is already too small, as Russia has reached strategic nuclear parity with and retains a huge tactical nuclear advantage over the US. China has an arsenal of up to 3,000 nuclear warheads (not the 300-400 that the leftist media often claims). North Korea is growing its nuclear arsenal, and Iran, completely uninhibited by Obama and unafraid of him, is quickly developing its own.
Moreover, unlike Russia and China, which are threats to many and protectors to nobody except NK, the US is responsible for providing a nuclear deterrent not just for itself but for 30 allies. Any further cuts will cause these allies to doubt America’s nuclear deterrent and, at some point, develop their own nuclear weapons, thus making the proliferation problem much worse.
“The Obama administration has justified its military budget cuts, end-strength shrinkage plans and program cancellations by arguing that the emerging threat picture is best tackled by a leaner, more agile force.”
But that is false. The Obama Administration’s defense cuts will not make the military leaner or more agile; in fact, it will make it far less so, given the projected cuts in strategic and tactical airlift aircraft and in amphibious and other sealift ships. Their cuts will also make the US military weaker in other ways – by reducing its combat power through cuts in e.g. cruisers, fighters, attack aircraft, nuclear weapons, missile defense, fighter recapitalization, and other crucial assets. See here for details. Or, see this graph by Congressman Randy Forbes:
The fact is that the Obama Administration has weakened America’s defense across the board, and the GOP is right to point that out.